Disaster Rapid Action Force personnel loading rescue equipment on to a vehicle ahead of Yaas’ landfall in Odisha | biswanath swain kochi l tuesday l may 25, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION Yaas’ likely landfall near Balasore on wednesday It is expected to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm on the east coast, where most of the oxygen plants are located may trigger Heavy rain, storm surge The storm would generate speeds up to 165 kmph, gusting to 185 kmph, besides triggering storm surge on the coasts of Balasore, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Bhadrak in Odisha. Heavy rainfall predicted in parts of West Bengal, including Kolkata. In a review meeting, home minister Amit Shah assured all help to CMs of West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh ■ 149 Airports, ports on high alert ■ ■ Odisha airports are on high alert even as the Kolkata Port has decided to suspend all shipping movements from Tuesday The Paradip Port Trust has directed all vessels to pick up anchors and move to sea; massive evacuation works underway in Odisha Medicine, oxygen stocks replenished to ensure Covid treatment NDRF teams deployed to carry out rescue and relief works CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Walk-in jabs for Why not utilise RBI dividend for vax: HC to Centre 18-44 group at govt hospitals E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi Centre aims to reduce wastage while giving full access to those unable to book online E XPR E SS N E WS S E R V IC E @ New Delhi The Centre on Monday allowed walk-in vaccinations at government hospitals for people in the 18–44 age group to reduce vaccine wastage. It was also an acknowledgement of the point put across by states that not all beneficiaries may have access to internet or smart phones or mobile phones to register themselves on the CoWIN portal. The final decision on whether or not to opt for it will be taken by state governments. While announcing the decision, the Union health ministry clarified that those choosing private hospitals for inoculation must continue booking slots via CoWIN portal or Aarogya Setu app. The decision came after several states reported vaccine wastage whenever some registered beneficiaries failed to turn up. In such cases, on-site NATIONWIDE MAY 23 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 24 2,40,842 2,22,315 3,55,102 3,26,671 3,741 4,454 registration of a few beneficiaries may be necessary to minimise the wastage, the health ministry said. Advising states to exercise caution to avoid overcrowding at centres, the ministry said clear instructions must be issued to all immunisation officers that the decision of respective states on walk-in facility is strictly adhered to. Stating that fully reserved sessions can be organised for beneficiaries belonging to facilitated cohorts (those needing assistance) category, the ministry said: “Wherever such sessions are organised, all efforts must be made to mobilise such beneficiaries in sufficient numbers.” Till Monday, only those above 45 years were allowed the benefit of walk-in jabs. By allowing on-site registration for those in the 18-44 category , the ministry aims to cut wastage and increase the number of beneficiaries. May 23 9,42,722 doses May 24 23,65,395 doses Total doses: 19,84,43,550 Jab-o-meter Take your shot Easy tools to manage virus at district level Four peaks characterise the second wave of India’s Covid — momentum peak (21.4.21), numerical peak of new cases 2 weeks later (6.5.21); acceleration peak of mortality (28.4.21) and numerical mortality peak 3 weeks later (18.5.21). Each state & district has these four peaks. Yet, the dynamics of onset, tempo and peak are asynchronous even among districts of the same state. Full article: newindianexpress.com. Full article: newindianexpress.com THE High Court on Monday orally asked the Union government why it could not utilise the surplus dividend received from the Reserve Bank for administering free vaccination, at least to the poor. The court made the query when the petitions challenging the Centre’s strategy on accelerated vaccination and liberalised pricing, and other Covidrelated cases came up for hearing. A division bench comprising Justice K Vinod Chandran and Justice M R Anitha cited the TNIE report headlined ‘RBI hands out generous dividend amounting to 0.5% of GDP to govt’ (Saturday, May 22) to say that the Reserve Bank approved paying a higher-thanexpected `99,122 crore to the government as dividend. The bench said the sum was more than half the amount projected in the budget. The government has got almost `54,000 crore more than projected. Assembly Session Day One The first session of the 15th legislative assembly began on Monday with the oath-taking ceremony. High market borrowing and sharp revenue decline due to the pandemic are forcing many states to cut capital expenditure, as they are struggling to foot the cost of the vaccine amid widening fiscal deficit. “Many states, including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana and Orissa, are reducing capital expenditure by about 25-30%. If states have to incur the vaccine cost also, they would have to cut corners, which means lowering their capex,” a senior member of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) said. The only way to fix this is to have a centralised vaccine procurement policy, the member suggested. “State capex fall will not help the economy Market bor. rowing has also cost in terms of interest burden. With GST shortfall to continue this year, this is not a good scenario. Till we are able to vaccinate all, the cost of the pandemic for the economy will continue to remain high, keeping recovery uncertain,” the member said. According to estimates, the total vaccination cost is `3.7 lakh crore for states at the highest vaccine price. This is large given the budgeted capital expenditure of states. “If we map this scenario analysis with the budgeted FY22 total expenditure of 20 major states at the highest price point, the vaccine procurement is 16 per cent of the total expenditure for Bihar and 12 per cent for states l i ke U t t a r P r a d e s h a n d Jharkhand,” Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, SBI said. 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan interacts with a group of UDF MLAs in the assembly HAPPY BIRTHDAY CM Rema WEARS TP’S IMAGE CM Pinarayi Vijayan, whose 76th birthday fell on Monday, was the 132nd in the alphabetical order to take the oath. New Opposition leader V D Satheesan took the oath at No. 107. While he was seated in the front row, his predecessor Ramesh Chennithala moved to the second row. Vadakara MLA and RMP leader K K Rema attended the session wearing a badge with the picture of her slain husband T P Chandrasekharan. She was greeted by loud cheers from the opposition benches after she took the solemn oath. She said TP’s voice will resonate in the assembly through her. 136 MLAs took the oath before Pro-tem Speaker PTA Rahim on the first day @ New Delhi A meeting of a high powered committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and Leader of Opposition Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary on Monday to pick the new chief of the CBI saw the latter raising objections over the selection process. “The way the procedure was followed, it was in conflict of the mandate of the committee. On May 11, I was given 109 names... and today by 1 pm, 10 names were shortlisted while Vadakara MLA K K Rema shows the image of her slain husband and RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan to lensmen | B P Deepu IN ENGLISH, KANNADA & TAMIL Opposition leader V D Satheesan and his predecessor Ramesh Chennithala arrive for the first session of the 15th assembly on Monday. Satheesan visited Chennithala at his residence and they reached the assembly in the same car | B P Deepu Three CPM MLAs took oath in the name of God and others took the solemn oath. Muvattupuzha MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan and Pala MLA Mani C Kappan took the oath in English, Devikulam MLA A Raja in Tamil and Manjeshwar MLA A K M Ashraf in Kannada Delhi Police land at Twitter doorstep E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Days after Twitter tagged a tweet by BJP leader Sambit Patra — alleging the Congress had drafted a toolkit to malign the Centre’s image — as ‘manipulated media’, the Delhi Police Special Cell on Monday landed at its offices in search of the ‘right person’ to serve a notice. Calling it a routine process, and not a raid, Delhi Police spokesperson DCP Chenmoy Biswal said they had to visit Twitter’s offices at Lado Sarai and Gurugram Golf Course Road as the reply from the company’s MD, India operations, M Maheshwari was ‘ambiguous’. The special cell had issued a notice on Maheshwari on May 21, asking him to appear before it with information on why the platform tagged Sambit’s tweet as ‘manipulated media’. 3 on shortlist to head CBI, Cong sore over process E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e Covid situation will improve and so will the economy. Why don’t you do something about that?” the court asked the Centre. The Union government submitted that it was in the realm of the Centre’s policy decision and that an expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court is supervising the vacstatewide Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 23 MAY 24 25,820 37,316 188 17,821 36,039 196 cine procurement and distribution. The High Court replied that it was telling the policymakers that they have so much money so why couldn’t they do , it. T h e s t a t e g ove r n m e n t submitted that its department of health and family welfare is taking all efforts to ensure vaccination, but it is adversely affected because of the short supply of vaccine. Of the 1.5 crore beneficiaries targeted in the 18-44 age-group, 25,954 have been administered the first ● More on P4 dose. Centre’s pointsman on Lakshadweep in the eye of a storm M P P r a s h a n t h @ Kozhikode High borrowing & slump in revenue: States to cut capex A n u r a d h a S h u k l a @ New Delhi “The projected dividend is `45,000 crore. So you have got almost `54,000 crore more. Now just arithmetic: The population of India is around 137 crore. If 137 crore is multiplied by `150 or rather let us take `250, the amount w i l l c o m e t o o n ly around `34,000 crore. So what is your problem with giving it? RBI has given you `54,000 crore more. The deficit would be reduced to `1.75 lakh, that is true, but you have the whole financial year before you. We expect that the by 4 pm, six names were shortlisted. This casual approach of the department of personnel and training is highly objectionable,” his dissent note said. According to sources, the names of senior IPS officers H C Awasthi, K R Chandra and V S K Kaumudi have been shortlisted for the job. Awasthi (1985, UP cadre) is the current DGP of UP; Kaumudi (1984, Andhra Pradesh cadre) is a special secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs; and Chandra (1985, Bihar cadre) is the current Director General of the Sashastra Seema Bal. The meeting was held after a delay of around four months despite former CBI chief R K Shukla retiring on February 3. The agency is currently helmed by interim chief Pradeep Sinha. PEOPLE’S representatives, leaders of Muslim organisations and political parties have joined a ‘Save Lakshadweep’ campaign, raising objection to the alleged “move to impose the RSS agenda on the island”. They have lashed out at Administrator Praful Khoda Patel, who was the minister of state for home in Gujarat when Narendra Modi was the chief minister, for “trying to destroy the culture of the island” with his arbitrary decisions. The BJP on its part, termed , the campaign as the handiwork of the vested interest groups to create communal rift in the society Party state . president K Surendran tweeted that the campaign is supported by “radical Islamist organisations”. “The Union Territory of Lakshadweep is an integral part of India. Condemn the move by CPI (M) and INC to portray it as a separate entity he said. ,” It all began after Patel was posted as the administrator on the island in December 2020. It was alleged that he was angry to see the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) posters and banners on the island two years ago. There are apprehensions over the move to ban beef, lift the ban on sale of liquor, enforce the Goonda Act and the proposal to ban persons who have more than two children from contesting elections to the local bodies. BREWING ISSUES oN THE ISLAND lGovt allowed to take over any land under the Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation lMove to ban beef and lift the bar on sale of liquor, which would be insensitive to the Muslim community lFishing sheds destroyed under Coast Guard policy lPlan to bar those who have more than two children from contesting polls It is also alleged that all animal husbandry units on the island have been asked to shut down to pave the way for corporates in the dairy field to take roots and a number of contract workers have been sacked unilaterally . Muslim League MP E T Muhammad Basheer said he had warned about such a possibility in his speech in the Lok Sabha on February 12, 2021. “Moves have already begun to ban animal slaughter in a society where around 99 per cent are Muslims. Ban on cow slaughter is also on the anvil,” he said in a Facebook ● More on P5 post. Mom of 1 & 5-yr-olds Young nurse contracts Covid from hosp, loses husband & in-laws to virus M a n o j V i s w a n at h a n @ Kochi UNTIL a month ago, their home was a little haven. Elsa, 5, and Eiza, 1, used to fight to get on to the laps of their grandparents who played and sang with them. In the evening, the two would wait for father Ullas to arrive with chocolates. Not any more. Covid took away the three forever in a span of eight days. The girls are too young to realise what exactly has happened. All they know is that their mother is no longer the mother they knew. She is crying all the time. Covid has shattered her dreams. Siny Isaac, 31, a nurse, contracted Covid while serving at a hospital in Perumbavoor, where she joined on April 5. She was soon deployed in a Covid ward. She developed symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus on April 25. She recovered on May 5, but her husband, father-in-law and From left, Joy M O, Sicily, Elsa, Siny Isaac, Eiza and Ullas Joy mother-in-law contracted the disease by then. The three were admitted to a hospital at Kothamangalam. Her mother-in-law, Sicily 63, and father-in-law, Joy , M O, 73, passed away on May 12 and 18, respectively. Ullas, 36, who was running a tyre-retreading shop at Perumbavoor, died on May 20. Despite being a lactating mother and not given Covid vaccine, Siny was not spared from Covid duty Her repeated . requests were turned down, says a Facebook post by a friend of Ullas which has triggered an outrage on social media. When contacted, the hospital management said Siny had worked with the hospital only for 16 days and she had not requested to spare her from Cov● More on P4 id duty .
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